An unforgettable P-SOOP trip

Ryan England, MD, ’17 “P-SOOP Orientation”

Making friends at P&S started even before I stepped into the classroom. The Physicians and Surgeons Outdoor Orientation Program (P-SOOP) is a chance for incoming first year medical students at Columbia to spend some time hiking and camping together in the Catskill Mountains just before school started in August. It was an incredible opportunity to meet and interact with other incoming students as well as current P&S students who led the program. On my own P-SOOP trip, I remember learning that the weather was predicted to be miserable, but that didn’t stop us. My new friends and I had a blast. Because of the continuous rain, we had to work even harder together each day to set up camp, cook meals, and hike up rocky terrain that was now transformed into a continuous series of mini-waterfalls at every turn. Looking back, the fact that the conditions were so tough was one of the reasons we had bonded so well and become such great friends to this day. Perhaps the same can be said for medical school in general: while the experience was often rigorous, if I were to do it all over again, I’d choose P&S in a heartbeat for the chance to have these amazing men and women by my side throughout the journey.